View Full Version : Religion and Exercise

Paul Findley
07-27-2007, 10:50 AM

"Before getting married, a friend introduced Maggie to The Weigh Down Workshop, a faith-based weight loss program, which teaches people to conquer their addiction to food, as well as other substances and vices, by turning to God."

This has me thinking:

What if any is the coorelation between fitness and religion? Is fitness seen as vanity or is the body really "The temple of the Lord"?

The easy way out is to say that it's vanity, so you can swing by McDonalds for a big Mac on Sunday afternoon with a clear conscience, but I know that I have a "bad attitude" on this particular subject (religion).

Paul Findley
07-27-2007, 11:08 AM
yikes...weigh down has a real "the secret" feel from the highly polished website. I wonder how much it costs? The founder is a bit scary, she has that thinned but not fit look.

Wow: "The Legend to the Treasure" clip what the hell is that all about? ROFL the boots are cracking me up and the looking around with the telescope, pacing with the head scratch. She needs a new director. Just wait on the first pop-up window for it to play.

What is up with the white-guy-rap theme? Bizzarre. go to: "Click here to view next banner"

Neal Winkler
07-27-2007, 12:34 PM
Religion is a pretty diverse subject. Not being an expert in every religion in the world, I can't give you a catch-all answer.

However, off the top of my head I do know that the Bible does make at least one reference to physical fitness, saying that it is a good thing. The context is a comparision between physical and spiritual fitness, of course it says that physical is nothing compared to spiritual, but it still states physical is good.

Jared Buffie
07-27-2007, 01:01 PM
There is a link between health and faith (notice I didn't use the word "religion").

I believe in God, and I believe He put me here for a reason and purpose. Being unhealthy will impact my ability to carry out His will, in both scope and length.

The Bible is full of nutritional advice, as well as other health related topics. Everything from washing your hands after going to the bathroom to burying the dead outside city walls to how to deal with a house that has mold in it.

Basic stuff to us that know about germs, but to people thousands of years ago with no idea, it's insightful stuff. It's why orthodox Jews have been the healthiest people in history (until the turn of the century). Because of their strict hygienic practices, hardly any Jews died during the Great Plagues. It lead to persecution, as many actually BLAMED them for the disease (since they weren't dying ot it).

Derek Simonds
07-27-2007, 01:16 PM
A guy I worked with told me that they used to have it at his church. Apparently the only people that were attending there were women. He wasn't closely involved so doesn't know how they did.

I have a friend who is a recovering alcoholic and we have talked about AA. They use a similar (don't know either of the techniques but from what little I can see) faith based approach. The idea being that what you can't control you turn over to a higher power.

Steve Shafley
07-27-2007, 02:31 PM
Yoga is pagan, thus the work of the devil. So it Tai Chi, and other martial arts with spiritual components.

Paul Findley
07-27-2007, 02:37 PM
What about hindu squats?

Steve Shafley
07-27-2007, 02:55 PM

Dands and Bethaks are the tools the Devil will use to drag you to hell.

Paul Findley
07-27-2007, 03:10 PM
heels on the ground ok?

Paul Findley
07-27-2007, 03:24 PM
oh boy, I watched the segment of Weigh Down on the Trya banks show...its off to nashville for me...Amen Remnant! (isn't that a chunk of carpet?) Praise Bacon!

Eat the same, just slower/less, no exercise required. There seems to be a link to the social group leading to weight loss study though, if you can tolerate the person who is channelling Him.

Danny John
07-27-2007, 04:37 PM
Actually, I have several workshops on this...I will be giving one in Las Vegas in November. I sit with feet in two canoes: one in sport and one in theology. The stream is swift and the falls are close! (End Analogy)

Neal Winkler
07-27-2007, 04:52 PM
Dan, do you read any apologetics? William Craig, J.P. Moreland, and the like?

Paul Findley
07-27-2007, 09:01 PM

What do you mean "this"? Do you mean the Fitness/Faith connection or lack thereof?

Danny John
07-27-2007, 09:03 PM
I stopped reading that stuff after Kreeft. I focus more on Eugene LaVerdiere and the scripture/Eucharist stuff...

I meant the connection between body and soul/spirit. I enjoy the discussions of "sound mind/sound body" but I like to make it simple, too.

My old website had a lot of stuff on this, but so much was lost...

Derek Simonds
07-28-2007, 06:22 AM
It would be hard to find a better place for a Sound Mind / Sound Body seminar than Vegas ;).

SM / SB has got me thinking on what I am neglecting in my own life.

Robb Wolf
07-28-2007, 07:39 AM
I don't think there is a bit of doubt that some kind of religious/spiritual life is of benefit to people (Heavens Gate-hale bop type stuff aside).

I think it's a fascinating topic and Dan has navigated these waters with some amazing finesse. I guess the sign of a balanced, healthy body/mind/soul?

07-28-2007, 02:00 PM
Don't know a lot about Weigh Down first hand...from what I see the "cheese" factor is very high...which turns me off...BUT I think the essence of the program is aiming in the right direction-people often eat to fill some emotional, spiritual, or other kind of void in their life...they think, "Something tasty will cheer me up."....So, on one hand I am not a big fan of Weigh Down b/c of its crappy marketing and commodified spirituality, but on the other hand it starts to get at what's really behind a lot of people's overeating/addictions, so it has SOME value.

As far as the role of fitness in the life of the spiritual person, I'd say that it is similar to any other component in the life of someone of faith in that the focus should be on balance. I know for me there is a great deal of temptation to focus on the aesthetic side of things and bust my butt to drop the body fat. But if my pursuit of fitness goes from being about functionality and abundant life to a self-centered activity, something is definitely out of whack.

And that is what I appreciate about the whole functional approach (specifically that of the PM'ers) to fitness. It's practical and it gives me room to live my life without spending 30 hours a week in the gym. The work that I do makes me more able to enjoy this amazing life that I've been given, and to give more of myself to others. It's all about balance.

Elliot Royce
07-28-2007, 04:33 PM
Not sure where this thread started (was it a real question or just pointing to a somewhat oddball application of religion?) or where it's going, but here's my 2 cents (sticking to Christian religion):

- since humans were created in God's image, there is an implicit bond not to pervert that image. Hence, one's body is a reflection of the higher element (this is also seen in pagan religions). Implication: actions which damage the body are against God's design.

- on the other hand, the true goal of religion is to rise above this world and exist in a higher plane. Implication: excessive concern about the body (spending time in the gym beyond health vs. caring for the poor) is vanity. I'm afraid that bodybuilding cannot be justified in a religious sense (from my point of view). That doesn't mean that it's any worse than the thousands of activities that we engage in daily. It's hard to see how passively watching network television, for instance, would not be worse than bodybuilding in a religious paradigm.

- praising God can take many forms and athletic accomplishment is one of them. St. Paul clearly indicates that the ideal lifestyle is celibate and dedicated to God, but also clearly indicates that not everyone will be able to do this. Hence, if you're not a monk, there is no reason that you can't praise God by being an accomplished sportsman (or woman), as long as you do not neglect your other religious responsibilities. Implication: being a Christian athlete is not just the province of the Evangelicals, etc. Think Chariots of Fire.

- Exercise can lead to selfish behavior if carried to extremes. Obsession with self is definitely bad and completely contrary to the goal of all religions that I know of. On the other hand, Christ clearly recognizes service to worldly demands (the Centurion) as long as it does not prevent service to God.

Derek Simonds
07-30-2007, 06:55 AM
Nicely put Elliot. I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

Paul Findley
07-30-2007, 11:11 AM
Not sure where this thread started (was it a real question or just pointing to a somewhat oddball application of religion?) or where it's going

lol sorry, I find that my job eventually prevents me from thinking in a linear fashion, usually a good night's rest helps this.

Derek Simonds
07-31-2007, 05:53 AM
lol sorry, I find that my job eventually prevents me from thinking in a linear fashion, usually a good night's rest helps this.

Ok I will take the bait what do you do that prevents you from thinking in a linear fashion? I had a good nights rest, maybe too good and now I can't get my brain kicked into gear, so a little non-linear thinking might be good for me.

Paul Findley
07-31-2007, 09:04 AM
Just the typical cronic lack of excitement and challenge, add excessive coffee consumption with internet access and you have a recipe for disaster.